Friday, August 31, 2012

Brewer's Blondies

Not much to say about these. Not much to show either. Just this:

But here's what I will say--just delicious. So easy. So caramel-y (I think because of the malt powder, but I don't really know, I just know that it's yummy). Sort of nutty and warming with a unique flavor. I really, truly loved them. And did I mention they were easy? The recipe is from the first BAKED book.

Now, for the really important news: this book was published a few days early, and I have my copy in my hot little hands. It was hard to put down last night. So much food porn to drool over. So many new things to learn about. So many meals to plan around desserts. I cannot wait to get started.

My girls are scared of the Whiskey Sauce on the Lacy Panty Cakes (which, what a beautiful confluence of campy recipe name and deliciousness, I can't wait to make them--they're like delicate pancakes with graham cracker crumbs in the batter! PLUS WHISKEY SAUCE!). So, I've decided that will be for another time. But I do have a plan for the weekend.

TGIP Rating--Brewer's Blondies--KEEPER. Have you even bought the first BAKED book yet? I don't know what more I can do to convince you.

Next up: Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars. Yes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Lemon Drop Cupcakes

Another perfect BAKED recipe. Another pretty perfect outcome. It's getting boring isn't it? I should try something super difficult next so that I can have another epic fail, right? The recipe for this is for a full-size cake, but I decided to make cupcakes for ease of transport (to rehearsal). The only difference in the recipe itself is that I added an egg yolk, as is suggested in the cupcake version of the Whiteout Cake recipe. They rose just right, and were lovely and tender. Here is where somebody else posted the Lemon Drop Cake recipe.

No, those aren't poppy seeds, that's black sugar that my friend Dan brought me from Fortnum & Mason. Pretty sparklies.

No stress over the buttercream this time. I feel like maybe I've mastered it. I let it take as long as it took, without forcing it, and I was rewarded. Prima even said maybe she likes buttercream now, and won't ask for canned frosting on her birthday cakes anymore (?!). 

Also, the lemon curd is completely delicious. I promised my girls I'd make raspberry muffins (a mix from here that someone gave me for Christmas) (incidentally, that's where I buy all my flour) for their breakfasts next week, and that they'd be allowed to put lemon curd on them. Even though it seems like dessert. Goodness knows I've been known to eat cherry pie for breakfast.

Here's a thing though: I rarely have time to bake, make frosting, and decorate a cake or cupcakes all in one day. So I end up having to store the cake portion for a day or two on the counter, or longer in the fridge or freezer. And the texture just doesn't stay the same. The cake is just ever so slightly dryer than it would be if eaten on the day it was baked. Is it just me? If not, what do you do about this problem? Should I just always resign myself to brushing cake with simple syrup to give it extra moisture after being stored? Suggestions?

Oooh, also. I made this vanilla cake for our Independence Day celebration. 

 (those are edible gold-dusted white chocolate stars on top--I...dislike red/white/blue
desserts that come out of the woodwork on Independence Day--mainly because blue is not
terribly appetizing to me)

I was really surprised at the outcome of the cake. No adjustments at all for altitude and it came out perfectly. Just a little domed in each pan, with a beautiful, moist texture. The frosting was a little too grainy and sweet for my taste, but she also has a Swiss meringue buttercream that she uses a lot, so I might try that soon. Just for comparison with the BAKED boys buttercream. She also has about a million other recipes that I want to try. Everything she posts looks so beautiful and delicious.

TGIP Rating--Lemon Drop Cake/Cupcakes--KEEPER. I might try the regular cake sometime, with lemon curd in between layers. Sounds delicious.
AND--Vanilla Birthday Cake--KEEPER. But mainly for the cake. The frosting wasn't my favorite.

Next up: Wow, I just have no idea. Things are a little hectic right now, so I may not even have time to bake until September. When I'll probably want to start in on fall-ish things. Although...these look delicious and not too difficult. Or maybe these. Maybe for a Sunday morning...sometime soon. Maybe I need a friend to come over and bake with me on one of my infrequent evenings off. Any takers?